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(Please correct Christine Desmond Zip Code to 06510 instead of 06511)

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Neurobiological and Psychoanalytic Perspectives

This symposium will explore the phenomenon of altered states. Throughout life, from early infancy into adulthood, altered states occur naturally in sleep, dreams, falling in love, childbirth, near to death-experiences; they are induced through drug use, or sought out to promote creativity. Altered states are an essential feature in the psychoanalytic and psychotherapeutic process as well as in the practice of meditation, yoga, hypnosis, etc. Using neurobiological evidence, developmental and psychoanalytic concepts our panelists will shed light on the brain/mind correlations of altered states.

“To live on a day-to-day basis is insufficient for human beings; we need to transcend, transport, escape; we need meaning, understanding, and explanation; we need to see overall patterns in our lives. We need hope, the sense of a future. And we need freedom (or, at least, the illusion of freedom) to get beyond ourselves, whether with telescopes and microscopes and our ever-burgeoning technology, or in states of mind that allow us to travel to other worlds, to rise above our immediate surroundings”. (Oliver Sachs, 2012)

Oscar Hills, MD, Linda Mayes, MD, Eamon McCrory, PhD, Lynn Reiser, MD, Jane Tillman, PhD

For further information contact the Register.
Dr. Christine Desmond

Symposium Committee:

Chair: Angela Cappiello, M.D., Ph.D.
Co-Chair: Elizabeth Wilson, M.D.

Mary Ayre, M.D.
Chritine Desmond, M.D.
Deborah Fried, M.D.
Linda Mayes, M.D.
Jean Vogel, M.D.
Christorpher Leveille, Psy.D.
Joan Poll, M.D.
Neayka Sahay, M.D.


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To Download Form and Pay By Mail Registration Form (pdf)

Symposium Brochure 2015 (pdf)  


Rosemary H. Balsam, M.D.
Nancy Chodorow, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Brett, Ph.D.


The Date: March 28th, 2015
The Time: 8:30AM - 12:45PM
The Place: New Haven Lawn Club
193 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, Connecticut

This year New England 60th anniversary, and a reprise of Hans Loewald, innovator, and pivotal contributor to modern psychoanalysis. 


This year’s symposium will be a celebration of the Western New England’s 60th anniversary and a commemoration of Hans Loewald: his work as innovator and pivotal contributor to modern psychoanalysis. As Dr. Rosemary Balsam described (2008), “The essence of Loewald’s work resides in three spheres: the crucible of psychic creation as the mother and infant together; his acceptance of the most basic elements of our animal nature, such as the give-and-take of nurturance, strivings for independence, survival transformed as an integral part of his soaring account of the mind's capacity for creation and sublimation; and his account of the psyche as a moment-to-moment developmental achievement. Hans Loewald's ability to bring to life the preoedipal netherworld of narcissism and the id was a breakthrough in an era of clinically pejorative attitudes toward people with narcissistic psychopathology.”

In this symposium three senior analysts will demonstrate how Loewald’s work has illuminated their clinical experience:

1) Dr. Chodorow brings new, emotionally-expanded psychoanalytic dimensions to her eminent work on gender and sexuality. She elaborates and names a new psychoanalytic theory, intersubjective ego psychology, the American independent tradition.

2) Dr. Brett shares her work on trauma, organizational dynamics and contemporary psychoanalytic practice.

3) Dr. Balsam an expert on gender studies, brings the culture of psychoanalytic ideas and the understanding of the mind’s registration of the human body.

The audience will be encouraged to join in discussion with their own experiences and vignettes.

1) Balsam, R.H. (2008). The Essence of Hans Loewald. J. Amer.
Psychoanal. Assn., 56:1117-1128
2) Chodorow, N.J. (2009). A different Universe: Reading Loewald
through” On the Therapeutic Action of Psycho-Analysis.”,
Psychoanal. Q., LXXVIII: 983-1011
3) Lear, J. (2012). The Thought of Hans Loewald. Int J Psycho-Anal.,
4) Loewald, H.W. (1960). On the Therapeutic Action of Psycho-
Analysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 41:16-33

Rosemary H. Balsam, F.R.C.Psych (Lond), M.R.C.P. (Edin), a psychiatrist first in Belfast, N. Ireland, is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine and a staff psychiatrist in the Yale Department of Student Health. A Training and Supervising Analyst at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis, she has lived, taught and practiced in New Haven since the 1970s. Her special interests are female development, young adulthood and the work of Hans Loewald. She has written award winning papers, lectured worldwide, and was named Woman Psychoanalytic Scholar 2005 for APsaA. Her most recent book is Women’s Bodies in Psychoanalysis (2012, Routledge). She is a co-editor of the Book Review Section of JAPA and serves on the editorial boards of PQ and Imago.

Nancy J. Chodorow, Ph. D. Nancy J. Chodorow, Ph. D. is Training and Supervising Analyst at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and Lecturer on Psychiatry at the Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School. She is Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, where she
also taught for 30 years. Chodorow's books include The Reproduction of Mothering; Feminism and Psychoanalytic Theory; Femininities, Masculinities, Sexualities: Freud and Beyond; The Power of Feelings: Personal Meaning in Psychoanalysis, Gender, and Culture; and Individualizing Genderand Sexuality: Theory and Practice. She is recipient of numerous awards and prizes. She became interested in Loewald when she first read him as a graduate student in the early 1970s and has written extensively on Loewald and the Loewaldian tradition. In 2004 she named Loewald, along with Erikson, as a founding theorist of an "American independenttradition," intersubjective ego psychology.

Elizabeth A. Brett, Ph. D., is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis, an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology) at the Yale University School of Medicine and Secretary of the Board on Professional Standards of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Her scholarly interests include empirical investigations of posttraumatic imagery in combat veterans, diagnostic and dynamic aspects of trauma and most recently the similarities between Hans Loewald's and Antonino Ferro's ideas about metaphor and drama in psychodynamic treatments. 

For further information contact: 

Christine Desmond, M.D.,Registrar
240 Bradley Street
New Haven, CT 06510